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NPC survey findings: Filipinos value data privacy

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By Emmie V. Abadilla

Most Filipinos value data privacy and want organizations collecting personal information to give details on how and where the data will be used, according to a National Privacy Commission (NPC)-commissioned study.

The nationwide survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in June of this year showed that 94% of Filipino adults wanted to know more about how the personal data they provided during transactions will be used while 85% maintained that the rights of data subjects are important.

Raymund Enriquez Liboro

Raymund Enriquez Liboro

The rights of data subjects  include the right to be informed, the right to object, the right to access, the right to correct, the right to erasure or blocking and the right to damages.

Survey data showed that Filipino adult Internet usage is now at 37 percent, a 2 percent increase from last year.

Of the 37 million Filipino adult Internet users to date, about 18 million are online for at least one hour every day for various purposes.

The top two activities of Filipinos online are getting news (62 percent) and sharing information online (56 percent). Other online activities include getting information on health, and fitness; getting information a sensitive health topic; looking for a job; playing online games; buying things online, studying online courses, visiting online dating sites and creating or working on their own blogs.

NPC announced the results of the SWS survey during the general assembly of Data Protection Officers (DPO) from the Media and Social Media sectors.

The SWS survey measured public awareness on issues related to the Data Privacy Act of 2012 as well as the level of trust in public and private organizations that collect and process personal data, which is called in the privacy law as Personal Information Controllers (PICs).

“Data privacy has become the proxy for trust in today’s information-driven world,” says Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro. Interestingly, “Among local private PICs, Filipinos trust schools the most, with a +85 net trust rating. They trust schools with their private data, more than they trust hospitals, banks or telcos.”

“Privacy has become a real concern in today’s ICT-enabled world as companies collect and use a person’s data, sometimes without the explicit, informed consent of the person concerned,” Winthrop Yu, Chairman of the Philippine Chapter of the Internet Society maintained.

“Often this data is used in ways that the subject did not foresee. It’s not just about spam. The widespread collection, use and sharing of personal data between companies can negatively affect one’s financial well-being and career prospects.”

“Inappropriate posts can severely affect the personal lives of data subjects. We’ve seen how incorrect and unverified posts in media outlets can go viral on social media affecting the subject’s lives as well as their children,” according to Commissioner Liboro.

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